MP Tom Tugendhat is the only one who doesn?t seem to have blotted his copy book at the moment

Sally Allen: We need a new era of competence

Sally Allen

Sally Allen speaking:

Well, at long last, it is now possible to drive through Torwood Street.

However, parking still remains a major problem and clearly this is going to run and run until the traders are treated more sympathetically by the council.

I do feel a bit like the indomitable Dame Sheila Hancock, who I heard on Radio 4 the other day promoting her new book, called ‘Old Rage’.

It turns out that these days, she, like me, gets angry just listening to politicians adhere to the party line whilst not answering questions – and ends up shouting at the radio or TV.

This could possibly be to do with the fact, that as you get older you are less likely to suffer fools gladly.

This brings me neatly back to the council and politicians in general.

Firstly, the local councillors. Are there no checks and balances on the candidates who put themselves up for election?

In any walk of life, other than politics, you actually have to have a proven track record of ability that you are actually able to do the job required and have the relevant experience.

I will give you a couple of examples, one historic and one current.

The historic one is why on earth did the lease agreement for the Pavilion not have a fully repairing clause in it?

This is normal practise in commercial life.

If a fully repairing clause had been in the lease agreement, the Pavilion would never be in the state it is, requiring millions of pounds to restore it.

The current example is why doesn’t the council have penalty clauses in all their contracts for timing and performance?

Again, this is de rigour in business. It would save a lot of time and money and I can’t believe the problem with Openreach would have occurred in Torwood Street if a penalty clause had been in place.

Now, if I am wrong and a penalty clause was in place, why wasn’t it enforced?

In my humble opinion, I believe that all politicians, local and national, should have a proven track record and the ability to do the job to which they are elected.

Both locally and nationally, portfolios are given out like smarties – and not always given to the most able.

Even a small amount of power in the wrong hands can have tragic results.

Surely anyone applying for a role in a position that affects a town, or the country should be chosen with the greatest care.

These days I am not driven in my political preferences by any one political party but by the actual person involved.

To me it is more important that they have an honest and independent belief which they adhere to, rather than blindly following a ‘party line’!

There is clearly unrest in the country now as Boris got booed on his way into, and on leaving, the thanksgiving service at St Paul’s on Friday.

No doubt there will still be a few brown-nosed conservative politicians supporting the unsupportable but the numbers of those jumping ship to save their own skins are gradually growing in numbers.

I have long given up on expecting politicians to do the right thing and thinking back the last one to actually behave in an honourable way, was Lord Carrington in Margaret Thatcher’s Government, over the invasion of the Falkland Islands – and that was a long time ago.

Since then, they all cling to power for as long as they can and damn the consequences to the country, and indeed their long-suffering families.

At the moment, very sadly, nobody stands out as a natural leader in any party, and I certainly wouldn’t want to choose a front bench from the current shower of political pigmies.

The only one, who doesn’t seem to have blotted his copy book at the moment, and appears to have some ability to me, is Tom Tugendhat.

But who knows what the future holds for him, or for us?

Let’s hope that they all grasp the unsightly and painful bunch of nettles very soon, so that we can all move forward in a positive way.

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